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SHL
Sep 5 2011
Sunday's Meeting: Bad News and Good News

The following e-mail announcement was sent by Matt Dean to the Monthly Meeting Reminders mailing list:

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I have bad news, and I have good news.

The bad news is that Margaret Downey, our scheduled speaker for this coming Sunday, has had to cancel her talk.

The good news is that Dr. Louis Rubbo, our speaker for next February, is somewhat local and is free to speak for us on Sunday. He'll be giving a talk entitled "What the Copernican Principle Informs Us About Our Place In The Universe." He gave this same talk for the Myrtle Beach Humanists and Freethinkers, earning rave reviews.

Humans are bestowed with a special, elevated role in western religion. The Bible explicitly states that man has dominion over the land and animals of the Earth. Over the last few centuries, however, discoveries in astronomy have pointed to a much different viewpoint of our place in the Universe. Starting with the revolutionary proposition put forth by Nicolaus Copernicus in the mid 1500's that Earth is not the center of the Universe, astronomy has repeatedly found that we are not located anywhere special. In this talk I'll discuss the historical developments leading into the doctrine of the Copernican Principle, apply the principle to our contemporary viewpoint of the Universe, and then extrapolate the use of the principle to the question of God. The talk will be a gentle combination of astronomy and religious thoughts. Absolutely no equations!

Dr. Louis Rubbo has been an assistant professor of astronomy at Coastal Carolina University for the past four years. Prior to that he held a post-doctoral position at the Pennsylvania State University in the Center for Gravitational Wave Physics, where he conducted research in gravitational wave astronomy. After earning a bachelor's degree at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Dr. Rubbo went on to earn a Ph.D. in physics from Montana State University - Bozeman.

Hope to see you Sunday!

Best,

Matt Dean

SHL President

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